Now I will say from the off that my political notions are limited by the number of active brain cells I have, which I don’t think is up in the double digits. That being said, I’ve picked up bits and bobs from what I hear in the news, see on televised panel shows, debates and what people post on Facebook.
By all means I welcome debate over these points, in fact I request it, but I think a point blank statement of “you’re wrong” helps nobody and as such won’t remain unquestioned.
Below are some of the things I’ve thought might make the UK a better (or more equal) place for the majority of its citizens. There’s probably vast swathes of policy and huge proportions of the UK demographic that aren’t represented here but bear in mind I’m in my late twenties with a narrow filed of political understanding and am, more importantly, wanting to hear other people’s views too which may or may not fill in the gaps.
- Proportional representation – from my understanding, if this system was used in the 2010 elections we would have had a very different government. Supposedly more accurately representing what people voted for in government and not local elections.
- A minimum living wage – which has just come out in the 2016 budget at £7.20 per hour. Along with a bunch of other changes which I’ve been led to believe mean that people who were on benefits on the old minimum wage now might not be able to claim anything and possibly be worse off on the new one.
- Maximum ‘socially tolerable’ wage – Basically a wage cap, there’s only so much money a person needs in their lifetime, I haven’t got a figure in mind but it would be large. I’m talking about those people who are on multi-million pound yearly incomes.
- The end of ‘career’ politicians – politicians to be unable to gain office without first having a ‘real job’.
- State to regain ownership of the UK rail network – when it’s cheaper to fly to London via Spain than get a train from the north something is drastically wrong with the system.
- Scrap the HS2 project (It’s actually a little late for this but the point still stands, there was no need to shave 30 minutes off a journey that might not even be necessary if the job market was not so centralised in London)
- Scrap Trident – The reason for this is twofold, primarily because it’s flipping expensive and also because we needn’t be joining the nuclear arms race, even as a deterrent it’s too much.
- Free university tuition for UK residents – but stricter controls on who can actually undertake HE courses.
- Join the Euro – In fact I am under the impression that a global economy wouldn’t be a bad thing. It’s all based on the value of gold is it not? Wouldn’t it be simpler to have a monetary system based on a value of gold, not an arbitrary figure and then stamped on various bits of metal and paper?
- A focus on rehabilitation of offenders rather than incarceration. I’m talking specifically about things like drug offences and theft. Drive down the number of people in prisons and target the motivation for crimes such as these.
- Increase taxation in the higher income bands – some countries operate a 50% plus income tax system and it works.
- Increase the tax free allowance so that people who are deemed below the ‘poverty line’ don’t have to pay anything.
- Incentivise property renovation over new builds. Rejuvenation rather than expansion.
- Swap some portion of child benefits for more practical and useful things such as a ‘baby box’ as they do in some Scandinavian counties. A ‘literacy pack’ for when the child is a bit older and maybe a ‘parenting kit’ to get started (patronising for some but a necessity for others).
- Decentralise government from London. There is a bit of that taking place with DevoManc but I get the impression it’s not true devolution of power, just allowing some minor decisions and financial freedom but the big spends and decisions are still made in the capital.
- Pursue more green/renewable energy sources, we live on an island and we don’t seem to be using a lot of our coastline to generate power from waves/tides etc.
- Place greater emphasis on corporate social responsibility at home. There are so many places that are run down; factories that have a wonderful glass frontage but at the back by the fences there’s brambles, broken bottles and barbed wire just waiting to do some damage.
- Clamp down on littering with on the spot fines, tax hikes in areas notorious for uncleanliness/litter.
So, in reviewing this list, there’s little or nothing there in relation to pensions, disabled people, primary and secondary education, healthcare, global trade, international aid, warfare, climate change, farming and many other things I’m sure.
What I’d like as a result of writing and posting this is a lively debate over the benefits of any of the above ideas, further ideas on the subjects I’ve not put forward any opinions and other various proposals for the betterment of this country and ALL the people in it.
I have a suspicion that the bulk of people reading this will already be of a similar mindset, especially in terms of taxation and financial concerns because I know very few business leaders, owners of large companies or members of the aristocracy.
For now I shall wish thee all well and leave you to review my brain fart and hope that something constructive comes of it.